Current eNews Letter from Program & Development Coordinator, Alicen Roberts and Values Over Violence Intern, Gianna Evangelista on August 21st, 2015:
Friends of CMM,
This has been a traumatic week in the city of Boston. At CMM, our hearts extend to all the family and friends of those injured and killed in recent shootings.
Our minds are also pensive, as we process the all-too-familiar violence in our city, our home. In Tuesday's Boston Globe, we read in big, bold letters: "Boston clergy, officials, police strategize again on anti-violence." Yesterday's Metro section reads, "Boston police relaunch gun buyback program." While appreciation is due to city and community leaders for their response in word and deed, the implication of "reoccurring violence" inherent in these headlines leads many to question: how can we as a community better address the root issues of violence, so as to prevent persistence year to year?
The Rev. Mark V. Scott, a Values over Violence trainer (http://coopmet.wix.com/valuesoverviolence), pinpointed one such root cause in Tuesday's article when he stated, "The issue we have is that there are a group of young people who feel disconnected." Emphasizing that many young people may not feel that "the wealth of resources" in our city are accessible to them.
Many would agree that violence-prevention begins in families and schools. However, we must also acknowledge that many school systems and low-income families (some with both parents working 1-3 jobs) are deeply affected by an unjust economic system in our country, slowly recovering from centuries of structural racism and inequality. Whether a person's upbringing molds them into who they will become, or they find a way to forge their our path, the uphill battles that many face daily must be acknowledged.
It is important to memorialize the lost and not forget that racism and violence is a recurring issue. Therefore, we write this article in honor of those who lost their lives this past week in Boston.
20 year old, Angel Oller
28 year old, Andrew Reed
21 year old, Darwin Adilas
31 year old, Rasaun Nichols
20 year old, Jean Louis
We mourn the loss of these young adults, who could have had a long life ahead of them, but were killed in unexplainable hate crimes. We grieve, also knowing these men are only a handful of many that have died this past year.
One way that CMM and community partners are addressing this issue is through our Values Over Violence program. Coming up in mid-September, the Values Over Violence program will be hosting "A Weekend of Peace, Forgiveness and Reconciliation," culminating to the International Day of Peace on the Boston Common at 2pm on Sunday, the 20th.
(See the posters below and find more details on our Events Page)
Gianna and Alicen